The Digital Dark Age

Photography is important to me and it is an area very susceptible to the digital dark age. I enjoy the process of taking photographs, digitally processing them and sharing them. I am paranoid about losing my digital files and have multiple back ups stored in different locations and still print many of my photographs as small prints or make photo books. I believe it is important to format shift. I have seen cassettes, videotapes, videodisks and floppy disks all become obsolete. CDs and DVDs seem to be nearing the end too, so I am using external hard drives now. The article did remind me to consider the issue of the loss of software to read files. It would be terrible to have all your files or digital negatives saved but have no means of making them into actual photographs.

It is wonderful that galleries, libraries and museums are digitising their analog collections. I can visit the National Archives of Australia online and see copies of my grandfather’s wartime documents. On a smaller scale I have scanned some of my parent’s slides but it is a very slow process.

While exploring Trove I found in the Pandora Archive copies of a website I maintained for my camera club ten years ago. It is the camera club’s 50th anniversary this year so a look back at our first website will be of interest to our newer members.
5211889689_16e6f171f8_m creative commons licensed (BY-NC) flickr photo by César.Gutiérrez:

4 Comments on The Digital Dark Age

  1. Lyn Oxley
    April 21, 2015 at 5:48 am (6 years ago)

    I think you’re wise to use an external hard drive to back-up your photos. I don’t trust the Cloud either and have heard of two horror stories where photos were supposedly ‘secure’ on The Cloud, but they weren’t: a US actress uploaded precious photos to iCloud from her iPhone and they were stolen despite being password protected and a professional photographer uploaded seven years’ work to Adobe’s Cloud where they disappeared due to a glitch in the system.

    I also use an external hard drive for all my photos and documents and prefer this to risking work being stolen or lost on The Cloud.

      April 24, 2015 at 8:49 am (6 years ago)

      Yes Lyn I remember reading about the photos accessed from the cloud and distributed online. There is a whole new discussion there on morals and ethics.

    April 27, 2015 at 11:29 am (6 years ago)

    Hi Karen. Reading the coursework on the digital dark age was a real eye-opener for me too. I was only showing my class today images of the first Apple Macintosh computer I used at University in the 90s. There were waves of laughter and pointing at the screen as I moved them through floppy disks and even inserting a cassette in to an very outdated Commodore 64. The thought that we required a cassette disk to operate a computer really was amusing to them. I then began talking with them about the digital dark age and how quick-changing technology may affect them and how they store personal items such as photographs. Needless to say, this was not something they had given much thought to. I’m sure many of them are at home tonight moving images to external hard drives, which they used more as a place to store movies, not their photos.

      May 4, 2015 at 8:28 am (6 years ago)

      A great discussion to have with your students.